Moment of terror in raid at bookies

Police have released this image of a man they want to speak to in connection with a raid at William Hill on the corner of Waterloo Road and Lytham Road

Police have released this image of a man they want to speak to in connection with a raid at William Hill on the corner of Waterloo Road and Lytham Road

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THIS is the terrifying moment a knife-wielding raider walked into a bookies and held up staff.

The masked robber threatened a shop worker at William Hill on Waterloo Road, South Shore, with a four-inch blade while demanding he hand over cash.

The male attendant backed away to a safe distance while the robber emptied a gaming machine before fleeing the store on the corner of Waterloo Road and Lytham Road.

Police have now released an image of a man wanted in connection with the raid.

Det Sgt Paddy Dowling, from Blackpool CID, said: “We want to speak to this man in connection with a raid at William Hill.

“We would appeal to anyone who may recognise him or know any information about the incident to contact us.”

The robber struck just after 8pm on Tuesday. Police believe he may have loitered outside the store for around 40 seconds before ducking inside and pointing the knife at the shop worker.

Detectives have been studying local CCTV footage and making door to door inquiries.

They think the assailant may have approached from Lytham Road and passed in front of the Hampsons bakery store.

After fleeing the store, it is thought the raider made his way down Waterloo Road towards the Promenade before turning into Hill Street.

William Hill offer rewards of up to £10,000 – through the Association of British Bookmakers – for information leading to the conviction of anyone involved in a robbery at their shops.

Det Sgt Dowling added: “William Hill has a policy of offering substantial rewards to anyone who offers information which leads to the arrest or conviction of anyone involved in a robbery on their premises.”

The man was described as white, around 6ft tall, wearing a Russian-style hat with earmuffs and a scarf pulled over his face.

He had on a dark jacket, possibly with a drawstring at the waist and light coloured trousers or jeans.

Police believe he took around £60, probably mainly £1 and £2 coins, along with the rest of the money.

Bill South, head of security for William Hill, warned offenders they do all they can to catch raiders.

He said: “The safety of our staff and customers is the most important thing to us.”

Anyone with information can contact Blackpool Police on (01253) 293933. Alternatively call the Crimestoppers hotline on 0800 555111.